Objective: First Certificate (FCE)

Anywhere, anytime: a FCE companion

Archive for March 2008

How to write a short story

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Written by ElenaBen

March 27, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Posted in Writing

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If you were a wink, I’d be a nod

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A good song from a good movie…to practice (BrE: practise) second conditionals, you know, that kind of ‘if sentence’ we use when we talk about unreal, impossible or hypothetical situations.

If+ the verb in simple past, would/could/might + bare infinitive (a ‘bare infinitive’ is an infinitive without ‘to’). In formal English we say If I/he/she were, instead of ‘was’. However, in common/plain/colloquial English we do use ‘if I was’…Check it out below:

If I was a ____ growing wild and free / All I’d want is you to be my sweet _____ _____ /And if I was a tree growing tall and green / All I’d want is you to shade me and be _____ _____

[Chorus]

All I want is you, will you be my _____ / Take me by the hand and stand by my _____ / All I want is you, will you stay with me? / Hold me in your arms and sway me like the _____

If you were a _____ in the mountains tall / The rumble of your water would be my _____ / If you were the _____, I know I’d be the _____ / Just as long as you were with me, let the cold winds blow

If you were a _____, I’d be a _____ / If you were a _____, well I’d be a _____ / If you were the _____, I’d wanna be the _____ / And if you were a _____, I know I’d be a _____

[Chorus]

If you were the _____, I’d be the _____ / If you were the _____, I’d be the _____ / If you were a _____, I’d be your _____ / And if you were an _____, I’d learn to _____

[Chorus]

Answers here (but don’t cheat)

ARE YOU A TEACHER? Lesson plan here.

Written by ElenaBen

March 24, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Posted in Conditionals

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Closed for holidays

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Or almost

…Spring Break: Fallas & Easter.

Be right back…(in a week or so)

Written by ElenaBen

March 17, 2008 at 12:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Cell phone etiquette

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  • What’s the problem?
  • What would you do in the same situation?
Some vocab for you:
Incoming calls MISSED calls caller ID display COVERage DEAD battery VIBRATE mode VOICE mail DEAD spots poor RECEPTION ringtone
  • How’s your cell phone etiquette? Test it here.

Written by ElenaBen

March 12, 2008 at 12:07 am

Posted in Vocab

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Computer/Internet English

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This video might be useful because it shows situations in which we use vocabulary related to computers or Internet: log in, sign up, log off, browse, scroll down…Oops, most of them are formed with those creepy Phrasal Verbs…

Written by ElenaBen

March 10, 2008 at 11:22 pm

Posted in Vocab

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Voiced? Voiceless? Is she speaking English?

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PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, DO this for me. Close the doors, ask people to leave you alone or they’re going to think you went nuts. But it’s the only way you can begin to UNDERSTAND why we pronounce this and not that in English. Many rules in English pronunciation are based on the difference voiced vs voiceless. For instance, the way the past participle -ed is pronounced.
Put your hand on your throat and say “p” and then “b”…in which one do you feel like a vibration in your neck/throat? With ‘p’ there’s no vibration, with ‘b’ there is a vibration in your vocal chords. If there’s a vibration, that sound is called ‘voiced’. If not, it’s voiceless. All vowels are voiced.

Written by ElenaBen

March 10, 2008 at 9:08 am

Posted in Pronunciation

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That ‘ed’ of yours gives me the creeps…;)

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Written by ElenaBen

March 10, 2008 at 9:07 am

As you like it…

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So you think you know everything on Like vs As?

Try this.

MORE:

Which sentence is ok?

  • I’m going to spend the money like there’s no tomorrow.
  • A Mahou tastes good like a beer should.
  • My brother looks like House MD.

Written by ElenaBen

March 10, 2008 at 9:04 am

Posted in Confusable, Paper 3: Use of English

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Magic! (Compounding)

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I couldn’t embed the powerpoint presentation from Authorstream because WordPress.com doesn’t allow the code. So check the powerpoint presentation on Compound Adjectives here:

And practice here. (You need Java)

Written by ElenaBen

March 8, 2008 at 11:04 am

My fix for suffixes and prefixes (FCE Word formation)

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In the FCE, you will be given a text with gaps. You will have to fill in the gaps with the right word, which is always next to the line where the gap is. They give you a stem word, and you have to alter it, adding prefixes or suffixes. REMEMBER: Just inserting the word given won’t give you points.

As I said in class (AmE: Like/As I said in class), don’t try to answer right away…It’s essential that you READ THE WHOLE TEXT FIRST, damn it! You’re so impatient…

Once you’ve done that, my recommendation is to follow your instinct (your language instinct, not your animal instinct, we don’t want you to kill the examiners…or do we?) So if a word pops in your head, it’s probably right. If not, make it up…which is our national sport. No points lost for wrong answers.

Some tricks: focus on the word that comes before or after the gap…is it a noun? a verb? For instance, if the word that comes after the gap is a noun, chances are that you’ll need to form an adjective. If the word that comes before the gap is a verb, chances are you might need an adverb? And so on, so forth. To do so, you have to be able to recognise and identify parts of speech. Can you tell the difference between ‘hard’ and ‘hardly’? Mmmm….You don’t feel like committing suicide yet? Cool, so then I’ll go on..

How can you prepare this sort of activity? Well, besides practising with the activities below, what I recommend you to do is the following (and I know this is the moment when you switch off and grab a bite): READ READ READ, anything, newspapers, online newspapers, magazines (I guess I don’t need to remind you that I mean newspapers and magazines in English, do I?). Any article, the section you prefer (maybe sports? politics? agony aunt? (dear Abby)), just short articles twice a week, for instance, and then underline any word that contains a prefix or a suffix…From now onwards, be aware of the fact that we form words with affixation and pay heed to the ways we do it in English. No more ‘inventations’ 😉

There are plenty of exercises on word formation in the book, but you can have further practice here:

Written by ElenaBen

March 8, 2008 at 12:02 am